Kocieniewski, David, “U.S. Business Has High Tax Rates but Pays Less,” The New York Times, 05/03/11

“The paradox of the United States tax code — high rates with a bounty of subsidies, shelters and special breaks — has made American multinationals “world leaders in tax avoidance,” according to Edward D. Kleinbard, a professor at the University of Southern California who was head of the Congressional joint committee on taxes. This has profound implications for businesses, the economy and the federal budget…”

“…In addition to being complex and uneven, the United States corporate tax code is inefficient and has become a diminishing source of revenue. Corporate taxes accounted for about 9 percent of all federal revenue in 2010. At $191 billion, they were equal to 1.3 percent of the nation’s gross domestic product. Most industrial countries collect more from companies, about 2.5 percent of output. Only a portion of that disparity can be explained by the many types of businesses in the United States that elect to be taxed at an individual rate.

‘Whether the test is fairness or efficiency, the U.S. system gets really low marks,’ said Michelle Hanlon, an M.I.T. professor who says the country needs to completely revamp the way it taxes corporations…”

“…Robert A. McDonald, P&G’s top executive, testified before a Congressional committee this year about the need to cut the United States tax rate without ending tax breaks and shelters. “We need a tax system that addresses today’s hypercompetitive global marketplace,” Mr. McDonald said, arguing that the playing field was tilted away from American businesses.”…

“…No one is certain how much creative accounting costs the federal government in lost revenue, but most estimates say it easily exceeds $50 billion a year. Targeted tax preferences, which Congress created to intentionally benefit specific companies or industries, cost an estimated $100 billion more a year.”

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/05/03/business/economy/03rates.html?src=me&ref=business